Tentacle Tuesday: The Time Has Come for Namor, Fish-Man

« Then suddenly, like some gigantic serpent out of the deep, a huge, quivering tentacle tose from out of the sea — a sight from any seaman’s maddest, most impossible nightmare –! »

Today we pay another visit to Subbie (or Subby), which every bit as horrible an abbreviation as ‘hubby’ for ‘husband’. We’ve gone over his history in a previous post (see Tentacle Tuesday: Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner), so now we can concentrate on Action! Adventure!! Excitement!!! What’s on his charged schedule, you might ask? Why, a quick tussle with some Soviet submarines, a few pompous (I’m sorry, I meant ‘dramatic and exciting’) speeches, a plunge intro ‘wintry, unplumbed depths’, a lengthy trip to memory lane, and an epic fight with an unliving cyborg!

My favourite, naturally, are the Soviet submarines.

Sub-Mariner no. 35 (August 1954, Atlas), cover by Sol Brodsky. The insides of this issue actually don’t have tentacles, but do have pretty much everything else – it’s a fun, wacky read.

Moving forward by a little more than 15 years, we get embroiled in a slightly different kind of evil…

Sub-Mariner no. 27 (July 1970, Marvel), cover pencilled by Sal Buscema and inked by Mike Esposito.

When Wakes the Kraken! was scripted by Roy Thomas, pencilled by Sal Buscema and inked by Mike Esposito. Aside from a lot of dialogue (check out the ‘ay, woman… but the time has come for battle… not words!‘), this story also has a lot of plump, high-quality tentacles.

This cover is fun, given that the Symbiotic Man appears to have tentacles on the soles of his feet and the ends of his hair as well. Did somebody actually demand that Namor should fight alone? I was under the impression that Marvel readers were more into ‘the more the merrier’ type of fun.

Marvel Spotlight no. 27 (April 1976). Cover pencilled by Gil Kane (Tentacle Tuesday dabbler!) and inked by Frank Giacoia.

The cover story is titled Death Is the Symbionic Man!, scripted by Bill Mantlo and illustrated by Jim Mooney. Note the typo in ‘its’ in the second speech bubble.

The octopus appears to be having serious doubts about his presence in this fight. “Aw, do I hafta?”
What’s the point of having a super cool symbiotic-cyborg creature if it needs an octopus do its dirty work? This beaked octopus would do well in Tentacle Tuesday: Notes on Anatomy.

~ ds

Hallowe’en Countdown IV, Day 15

« He was homicidal. He was a real nut, a really tooty-fruity nut… he killed for fun… now society is avenged… avenged avenged avenged… and minus expensive court costs too… » — writer-editor Al Hewetson loved ellipses

For a few years in the early 70s, longtime Atlas/Marvel production manager Sol Brodsky joined forces with canny schemer Israel Waldman in order to give monster mag publisher James Warren a good scare, and it worked. During its relatively brief existence (1970-75), brassy upstart Skywald Publications gave Warren pause and cause to nervously peer over his shoulder and strong incentive to improve his product, which was hardly at its peak in 1970.

This is Nightmare no. 11 (February, 1973, Skywald). The spooky, claustrophobic cover is the brushwork of José Antonio Domingo, who also contributed a handful of painted covers to Marvel’s concurrent b&w magazine line.

By all means, do read this intriguing issue, which is available in its entirety right… here.

Oh, and why not? Here’s the finest of Domingo’s Marvel covers, à mon avis… despite the rather inept text placement.

This is Vampire Tales no. 2 (Oct. 1973, Marvel).